We wanted to find out what companies are doing to support omnichannel retail, so we reached out to CitiXsys, developer of iVend Retail – an omnichannel retail management solution. In this VSR exclusive Q&A, we ask Tim Barton, director of strategic accounts, to tell us more about how iVend is supporting omnichannel, and VARs who sell omnichannel solutions.

VSR: What technology should VARs be working with retailers to implement to help take advantage of the omnichannel opportunity?

TB: Today’s consumers expect a high level of customer service regardless of channel, and shopping experiences that are highly personalized to them. Here are some of the technologies and tools retailers should consider to deliver a true omnichannel experience:

  • Analytics tools giving them better insights about sales trends and customer behavior across channels, allowing them to make more informed decisions about inventory planning
  • Mobile point of sale (POS) technologies that enable retailers to interact with shoppers, provide inventory checks and process  sales
  • eCommerce solutions that give customers a unified experience, where they can conduct their business the same way online as in the physical store
  • Digital passes allowing retailers to offer a more personalized shopping experience by giving them digital coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards

VSR: What kind of support and training does iVend Retail offer its partners?

TB: CitiXsys is a partner-centric organization and iVend Retail is a channel-only product. For iVend Retail, the goal is to help partners develop a profitable business around its products and services. Typically, we offer a five-day intensive training workshops worldwide to help partner candidates gain in-depth knowledge of iVend Retail applications. Participants learn about module implementation, configuration and how to use the application. Partners can use the Partner/ Customer Portal for information on iVend Retail products and services and raise queries which are answered within 24 hours.

VSR: What does it take to deliver an omnichannel customer experience?

TB: As digital becomes more and more embedded, it’s important to provide shoppers with a customer experience that delivers the seamless services they are looking for. It is incredibly difficult to deliver a connected customer experience if there are disconnects within an organization. The traditional boundaries and silos within a business need to be reviewed and evaluated in order to implement and maintain a successful omnichannel customer experience.

VSR: How are digital passes contributing to create a better omnichannel experience?

TB: Digital passes are a cloud-based platform for managing coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards, etc. The technology is integrated seamlessly into a retailer’s POS, making it more convenient for customers as the retailer is able to stay connected with its customers. Retailers can even geotag the passes so when a customer is nearby a store, the pass will send them an alert and encourage them to visit. Digital passes also allow retailers to maintain more frequent engagement with customers. Perhaps most important and beneficial is that it allows the retailer to gather rich customer engagement analysis.

CitiXsys offers iVend Passes, a platform for retailers to deploy digital passes on Apple Passbook and Android devices. iVend Passes remove the technical challenge, and in doing so allows retailers to focus on consumer engagement.

Tim Barton is Director, Strategic Accounts at CitiXsys and leads the development of a portfolio of strategic accounts and customers of scale.

About iVend
iVend delivers omnichannel retail management solutions for the way retailers work today, implementing technology that is built to enable change, not just built to last. We believe that retailers shouldn’t have to worry about managing hardware, software licenses, upgrades – they just need the tools to deliver great customer service. Part of Citixsys worldwide, iVend stands for innovation in retail technology and leadership in Cloud management and mobile retail. In addition to providing traditional fixed till and back office server solutions as required, we are experts in developing solutions for complex retail – multi-format, multi-location, multi-channel and multi-sector retailers.

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